Building on success to head to the next level

Bailiffgate Museum manager Roy Bearpark

Bailiffgate Museum manager Roy Bearpark

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The Bailiffgate Museum wants to make a ‘bigger splash’ this year as it aims to move to the next level in terms of visitor attractions in Alnwick.

At the last meeting of Alnwick Town Council, the manager, Roy Bearpark, who has been in post just under a year, spoke to members about the museum and its plans.

He explained that a £308,000 scheme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and incorporating nine community-outreach projects came to an end last year.

“There could have been a bit of a dip in pace, but I think we are going to take things forward in a very positive way,” Roy said. “We really want to progress and to take the lessons from that forward.”

He went on to explain that their current audience mainly consists of older people and young families during holidays and that feedback from surveys showed that a lot of people outside Alnwick didn’t know about the museum.

To address this, Roy is focusing on the programming as while the permanent collections are very good, the exhibitions ‘left a little bit to be desired’.

“The trustees have injected some extra cash into marketing and making a bigger splash with it this year,” he added.

The current exhibition is a presentation of all of the nine projects from the now-complete HLF scheme, but on March 1, Do I Look Good in This? – a celebration of women’s fashion from Victorian times to the 1960s – starts.

The major exhibition for the summer is Wild, a family-friendly and interactive celebration of the natural history of the British Isles.

Roy also told the meeting that they are bidding for Arts Council funding in the hope of renovating the Upper Gallery to better host art exhibitions.